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New CI laid in Parliament to guide District Assembly elections

Government through the Ministry of Local Governement and Rural Development has laid a new Constitutional Instrument (CI) 89, to direct the conduct of the district-level elections which are expected to be held in July 2015.

 

The document was laid on behalf of the Minster of Local Government and Rural Development, Alhaji Collins Dauda, by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Nii Osah Mills.

The CI has been referred to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Subsidiary Legislation for its consideration and report after which it may be approved by the House.

 Following the laying of the document  which marks the beginning of the countdown to the district-level elections which should have been held on March 3,but was botched, a constitutionally mandated 21 sitting days after it has been laid in Parliament must be countered before it comes into effect.

Parliament is likely to go on recess for the Easter holidays on March 27, and reconvene by mid May and if that is the case it will mean that the CI would not have chalked adequate days to make it effective.

After laying the document, Rt. Hon. Speaker Edward Doe Adjaho set up a committee to fashion the way forward for the elections, after the Supreme Court had ruled that the elections could not be conducted on March 3.

The committee has proposed that MPs be recalled during the Easter break to enable Parliament meet the mandatory requirement of 21 sitting days for the elections to take place.

Background

The Supreme Court by a 7: 0 majority decision ruled that the election cannot go ahead on the scheduled date of 3rd March 2015..

The entire Supreme Court panel agreed with the plaintiff in the case that the Electoral Commission’s (EC) decision to open and close nominations when the CI 85 had not been passed is unlawful.

The plaintiff, Benjamin Eyi Mensah, a disqualified aspirant for the position of assemblyman in the Eyipeh Electoral Area in the Central Region, dragged the Electoral Commission to Court for failing to include him in the upcoming election.

His Counsel, Alex Afenyo Markins argued that, his client was prevented from filing his nomination even though the constitutional instrument governing the elections had not been passed.

The cancellation of the elections just four days to the D- day brought a lot of inconvenience to the aspiring assembly members, as it disorganized their programmes and their budget.

Hon. Alex Afenyo Markin, urged the Attorney General to charge the EC with causing financial loss considering the fact that the state will have to marshal funds to reprint ballot papers.

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